Not many people realise that the capital of Australia is not Sydney, or Melbourne, or Perth . . . but Canberra. In fact, many people have not even heard of it! That is because it was a city designed purposefully to be a capital city, because Australia's two largest cities, Sydney and Melbourne, were fighting over being called the capital. Instead of having to pick between them, it was decided that a new city would be built, and built to be the central government of the country of Australia.
The site was chosen in 1908, and it was considered to be the best possible site because it historically has been a place where many Aboriginal tribes and clans would come together to share stories and dwell peaceably. The word 'canberra' means meeting place, and that was the name that was given to the city that would provide Australians with a meeting place: to meet with each other, and to welcome the world.
The city of Canberra was designed through an international contest, and is based on geometric designs. The city is centred around a small hill, and is surrounded by a ridge of mountains. This means that the city is spread out and has a very green feel. It was created purposefully on the basis of a 'garden city', which means that wherever you go, you are always surrounded by eucalyptus trees and beautiful flowers.
Canberra Airport takes both national and international flights, which means that many travellers to this capital city come via Sydney or Melbourne. There is also a train link between Sydney and Canberra, but it is much quicker to fly: the train can take around three hours, whereas the flight is only around forty minutes.
What time of year to visit
If you are a visitor internationally or Australian local, it is important to remember when the seasons are in Canberra. Spring always starts on 1st September, and summer will peak over Christmas. The coldest month here is July, and then spring comes again. If you are planning to come to Canberra for Christmas, don't pack your woollies, and make sure that you bring plenty of sun cream!
Sport in Canberra
Canberra is home to the Australian Institute of Sport, which means that many Olympic sportsmen and sportswomen will spend a lot of their time here. That means that the sporting infrastructure in Canberra is world class, and many people come here just to enjoy the facilities. If you love skiing and snowboarding, then Threadbo, which is only around two and a half hours drive away, is perfect for you. Widely considered to be one of the best ski resort in the world, many people will come to Canberra as an excuse to hit the slopes.
Top sights and must do activities
Because Canberra is purposefully the capital city of Australia that means that many national museums and art galleries can be found here. Make sure that you check out the National Portrait Gallery, and the National Museum of Australia is an absolute delight. You could easily spend three or four hours in there without even realising that the time has gone. Canberra has a gorgeous man-made lake going through it, and there is a carefully constructed cycle path all the way around it. There is no better way to spend an afternoon than by seeing the beauty of Canberra as you cycle through it, and it gives you a great opportunity to chance open wonderful things like the Canberra Glassworks as you go. Another great way to explore the lake is with a private boat cruise.
There are absolutely tonnes of festivals that are held in Canberra throughout the year, and that makes it incredibly difficult to decide when the best time to come is. For example, the National Folk Festival is held in Canberra over the Easter period, and more than 50, 000 people will travel to Canberra to take part. “Celebrate Canberra” is held over ten days in March, alongside Canberra Day. For those that are more interested in the agricultural side of life, then the Royal Canberra Show is the best bet for you: held every February, it can involve hundreds of thousands of people. If the multicultural aspect of Australia is more what you are interested in, then you should hit Canberra in February too, because that is when the National Multicultural Festival kicks off. More than a quarter of a million people will attend that, and it will amaze you.
Top three bars & restaurants.
When you are relaxing in Canberra, there are some amazing restaurants that you can really indulge in. The vast mix of cultures that have settled within Canberra mean that you can take your pick from Malaysian, Thai, Spanish, Chinese, and even Ethiopian. One great place that you should try is called Aubergine, and has regularly been acclaimed to be one of the best restaurants in the entire city. It is known for its seasonal and local produce, and the surprising way that the chef puts different flavours together.
Another amazing place to eat is called Malamay, which is Chinese fusion. Apart from the fact that the food here is absolutely amazing, the atmosphere is incredible. The restaurant is lined with books, and the deeply calming vibe makes eating there a complete delight.
After your delicious food, why not head out to one of Canberra's gorgeous cocktail bars? One of our favourites is Honkytonks, which manages to combine a wide variety of cocktails and sangria. exhibitions and home made tacos.